September 22, 2014

It was definitely one of those weeks where everything just happened to go wrong. It got to the point where I was standing completely lost in the rain in the middle of a mud field and I thought to myself.... huh....  hahaha .... 
The elders had called us late the night before saying that one of the members wanted us to pick up her daughter to take her to church the next day because she had to go to work. We of course agreed but had no idea where she lived. We got sketchy/incomplete directions from her and the elders and headed out early the next morning. We searched and searched and searched for an hour and could not find her. And unfortunately, all the phone lines were down so we couldn't call anyone. It had taken so long to try and find her, that we ended up not being able to make it to our lesson that morning that we were really looking forward to... and as I was standing in the mud in the rain... lost... frustrated... We said a prayer that we would find her.... well, we didn't find her. I did find corn huskings on the side of the road to kind of wipe my shoes off though. Just got my hands muddy in reality... We finally got back to the church with 2 minutes to spare. Blisters from so much walking in my shoes that I only wear to church for a reason, sweaty, covered in mud, irritated that we had been given bad directions and weren't able to find her and were worried her mother was going to be upset and not trust us anymore, and irritated since we couldn't even show up to our lesson with our investigator who seemed bugged (understandable) that we just didn't show up when he had left his family early to see us .... I sat down in church slightly overwhelmed.... but the peace that came from the sacrament was unmistakable and so real.
Turns out the elders found the girl waiting for us and took her for us and so she ended up being able to get to church safely. And the elders helped us to get a lesson with our investigator after sacrament because they felt bad we didn't get to teach him in the morning.... I'm ashamed that I was irritated and immediately repented. Because, looking backward, even though nothing happened as I thought it was going to, it still happened as it should. Heavenly Father made sure everything was taken care of that was supposed to happen. It took some detours to get there, but it still happened. It just made me think about how many times we don't trust Him. We don't trust that He's got our back and is looking out for us, that our hardships really are for our good and everything is going to end up okay. But when we allow Him to have a role in our life, it always turns out okay...

One night a while ago, we felt prompted to go tracting to a certain building... ended up meeting an awesome guy who is now an investigator. He ended up knowing someone in our ward, they had worked together. After he left, the member said something so interesting to me... "He was the last person on my list that I thought would have been interested in investigating the church....". It made me think about how we don't know these people. Only God does. God knows His children's hearts. If we want to share the gospel and be successful at it, we've got to ask Him what He wants us to do.

Last thought.... 
The pope came this last Sunday. That was crazy. We got grounded. Aka- if we weren't in a lesson, we had to stay indoors for safety reasons.... so that was... boring haha ... anyways, they shut down the buses for him coming because a ton of the roads were shut down and filled with crowds instead of cars. It made our sacrament meeting veeerrrryyy small. The people who live far, most just didn't come which ... I dunno, I think it's understandable. But there were a small few that when they found out about the buses, walked. And it's not a short walk. It made me think about the Anti Nephi Lehi's in the Book of Mormon (Alma 53:10-18). They made a covenant with the Lord to never again use their weapons of war and buried them in the ground. Well, war comes and the Nephites are dying by the thousands to protect them and their families... and they start to feel terrible. They start to feel like they should do something to help and start to get ready to go to war with the Lamanites to help out their brother and sisters. But Helamen says no, don't break your covenant. And so they don't, but they send their young sons instead... which we now know as the stripling warriors who miraculously saved many and none of them died despite their lack of experience. 
When reading that story, I thought to myself about how they that were in that situation probably thought, ya know, God is gonna understand if we break this covenant. This is perfectly reasonable... And if I was in their shoes, I probably would've thought the same! But they didn't, they sacrificed their young sons and kept their covenants. And it brought miracles! And so many blessings! I thought about that as I thought about the people who had walked long distances to get to church that day... honestly, I don't think God will punish those who didn't come. I think He probably does understand... but those people aren't going to have miracles in their lives like the people who sacrificed to keep their promises with God. It's when we give our all, when we sacrifice for Him... that's when the miracles happen. That's when the most blessings come.

I love you all!
Motra Russell 

Me with a cute nëna... she was very happy to know I would be sending her picture home :) And her toothless smile is ADORABLE!
This cut out is me teaching Sis. Z rule of thirds to improve her photos haha


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